You are viewing mananath

Jun. 12th, 2011 @ 01:18 pm the past and present
I spent 9 years of my life working for Borders Books & Music. It was my first real job out of HS, it was where I sought refuge when I dropped out of college and it was where I found friends who continue with me today. In short, it was where I lived my life; it defined my 20s and much of who I am today, of what I have done, was born out of those experiences. This is nothing special, this is not unique. Any place that you spend so much time at is bound to leave it's mark on you, to affect you in some profound way (if it doesn't than wow, what a waste).

I left there almost 4 years ago but friends remain and my curiousity, my interest, is always a bit tweaked to news of Borders. So I was a bit sad a few months ago when I heard that the company was filing for Chap 11 bankruptcy protection. This wasn't a surprise, it was something I had been expecting for years, having followed the tales of mass layoffs, but still it was a bit of a shock. When a giant list of stores that would soon be closed came out I parsed through it, noting stores where I worked, where friends still worked and the store that I spent most of my time at. The store that was mine for 9 years. It wasn't on the list.

Yesterday I heard that the store I worked at is going to close. I was at that store from the day it was born. I helped put it together. The first layout of the bargain book section was all mine. The genre and reference books got on the shelf because of my work, my hands. My blood and sweat were in that store from the day it opened until the day I left. I am sorry for my friends that are still there who will be losing their jobs.

I think back on that store, of my time there, with a wistful sense of nostalgia. There is no loss in my memory, no deep regret for what was nor a longing to go back. It's remarkable to me that I don't feel more. It's remarkable that something, someplace, that was once so important to me can get archived into the back of my mind, lumped into the mess of memories that have come to be known simply as my 20s.

---
This posting does not mark my triumphant return to LJ. It's been months since I have last posted an entry. While it's true that I haven't felt "inspired" to write the larger issue is that I am coming to think I might be over this whole blogging thing.

In some ways this has been a hard season on the ice for me. Physically I find myself exhausted. I haven't been sleeping well for the past few months. I have gotten into the habit of waking up, exactly, at 3am no matter what time i fall asleep. Once up I am rarely able to get back into a restful sleep and so spend my days chugging along on a few hours of sleep, pushing my sleep deficit into the future hoping that I will catch up before it catches up to me.

There have been petty dramas, minor annoyances compounding into major events, playing out around the station that have made me question the main reason I enjoy being down here: the community. The issue of my last entry, indeed the thread of so many entries of the past few years, finally resolved itself out of mind a few months ago. I don't know that I will return again. i am leaving the option open but realize i probably shouldn't come back. You can only hide from the world in Antarctica for so long.

Otherwise not much is new down here. The ice continues as it has. The exciting has become the mundane.
About this Entry
south pole
[User Picture Icon]
From:i_and_i
Date:June 12th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I hope you don't stop posting on LJ. I always look forward to your entries. Sorry to hear it's not as exciting down there anymore. xo
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:43 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
We'll see. Hopefully I will have stuff to write about again. But if not, we will always have FB! :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:hybrid_xisha
Date:June 12th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
It might be time to move off the ice, but that just means you'll have the opportunity for new adventures once you leave.

EDIT: Wow, I've never been CAPTCHA'D by LJ before! And here I thought that option was only for unregistered comments. Now, if only the server will stop giving me unreadable words to type....
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:44 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
yeah i added that option awhile ago. It seems LJ has been plagued by spambots.
[User Picture Icon]
From:bibliogrrl
Date:June 12th, 2011 05:41 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
All of the stores, save one, that I worked at are gone. The store where I started is still open, and the last store here in Chicago (I never worked there regularly, only for a few special events).

The store I opened and set up is gone. And I got out right about the same time you did - once I saw the company start to go downhill, I made other plans and got out.

I miss you posting here.
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:45 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I am definitely glad I got out. It sounds like these last few years there have been pretty bad and I couldn't imagine working through the liquidation sales.
[User Picture Icon]
From:alice_mccoy
Date:June 12th, 2011 09:52 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I had wondered if all was well with you or not.
Whatever you decide I would like to Thank You for the blogging you have done for us. I am my family have enjoyed the posts. I love LJ for the view into other peoples worlds the mundane and the unusual.

Thank you and best wishes.
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:45 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
oh, I am still well. Just more internal I suppose. I am glad you have enjoyed my posts and hopefully I will start posting again soon!
[User Picture Icon]
From:susangalique
Date:June 12th, 2011 01:12 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
you should never give up on journaling, even if you define LJ as a blog...

sorry to hear about Borders

whenever things become mundane try personification: giving physical or human characteristics to i inanimate objects. Talking dogs or smiling penguins are always fun.
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:46 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I definitely see the value of journaling and I do it more internally these days.
[User Picture Icon]
From:malterre
Date:June 12th, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I read your blog since you posted in Customers_suck and will read it post Antarctic adventures :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:58 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
thanks!
[User Picture Icon]
From:uberregenbogen
Date:June 12th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
The gift is knowing
your strength in going
when the time has gone
beyond your heart's desire;
and you must go.
—Camel, A Heart's Desire

Hope you keep writing here though. We'd all hate to lose a coherent voice.

(One of the things i like about LJ is that there are a lot of folks here who have things to say that are actually worth reading—many of whom were here before the words ‘weblog’ or ‘blog’ were ever uttered.)

[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:46 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I really like that quote. I had never heard it before. thanks!
[User Picture Icon]
From:uberregenbogen
Date:June 18th, 2011 11:12 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I highly recommend Camel—one of my all-time favourite progressive rock acts. What got airplay (mostly in the late '70s) is just the tip of the iceberg.

My housemate and i used to do a radio show on the internet and C-band satellite. We quit after some internal politics put a foul taste in our mouths, on top of doing it every week wearing me out more and more. I closed the last show with A Hearts Desire.

[User Picture Icon]
From:soopageek
Date:June 12th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I know the feeling in a way. Truck driving presented a sense of adventure for the first 2-3 years that excited me. While it's true that I could probably still find new and interesting things to do, for the most part it feels old hat and I seldom find the motivation to DO things and am content to sit in the truck when I have free time. In short, it lost its luster, even though to an outsider it seems like a somewhat exotic thing to be doing with one's life.
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:48 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Sadly I have a feeling most things in life are like that. One of the things I love about when the new season starts down here is meeting some of the new people. For them this is still some grand exciting adventure. I empathize with them and note the years ago when I was in their same boat.
[User Picture Icon]
From:soopageek
Date:June 14th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Oh I totally get that. One of the fun things for me when I was training new drivers was reliving my early years through them vicariously. Everything is so new and exciting for them still and it was fun seeing it all fresh again through their eyes, so to speak.
[User Picture Icon]
From:paularubia
Date:June 12th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I, too, went through the Borders closing drama. I helped set up my store, too. It's sad to drive by and see an empty, lifeless building where I spent so many years and made so many friends.

I've enjoyed your blog for years. I urge you to put a manuscript together and publish a book of your travels. A good first sentence? "You can only hide from the world in Antarctica for so long."
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:50 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Perhaps one of these days i will. But working in the book industry for so long kind of turned me off to writing a book. I know how much work would have to go into it and how little the reward would be. I would have to really want my story to flesh out.
[User Picture Icon]
From:curieuse
Date:June 12th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
To be honest, you sound a little bit depressed, which would be totally understandable considering the circumstances. I hope you can find someone to talk to and make some changes (including maybe a change of location) to help you get some of your joy and zest back.
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:51 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Perhaps you are right. But down here, a place where we are all psychologically examined before arriving, we don't use that word -- we use the word "toasty". It's a more polite way of saying the D word and it has a bit broader meaning ranging from burnt out to "oh my god don't go near that person."

I just need something new to get super excited about.
[User Picture Icon]
From:wlotus
Date:June 12th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
If it is time for you to move on to new adventures, I hope you find something fulfilling. And I hope you blog about it, but if not, be well. :-)
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:52 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
thanks. and hopefully I will!
[User Picture Icon]
From:twinclash
Date:June 13th, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)

thanks

(Permanent Link)
I wanted to thank you for chronicling your experiences as you have over the years. I always enjoyed your writing and your honesty and hope that you continue, wherever you find yourself. Sending good thoughts and well wishes.
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:52 am (UTC)

Re: thanks

(Permanent Link)
You're welcome. I am glad you have enjoyed reading them!
[User Picture Icon]
From:testing4l
Date:June 13th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
While it's true that I haven't felt "inspired" to write the larger issue is that I am coming to think I might be over this whole blogging thing.

I wish the words were mine to give to you to inspire you to write more. But mostly because I'm a selfish bastard who likes your writing and the subject that you write about.

After all, where else in the world might that story about the speculums have come to pass?
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:53 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
haha we still talk about that speculum in training meetings down here. Ahh... good times!
[User Picture Icon]
From:paigehunt
Date:June 13th, 2011 10:30 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
It's good to see you post again. I'm sorry that you haven't felt inspired to write. It sounds like it may be time for you to move on with your life and that you're doing some serious soul searching. I know you will find your way and it will be wonderful.
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:53 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I hope so. I have been soul searching for years and have simply lucked into things! :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:amour_solaire
Date:June 13th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I have to agree with everyone who has commented on here already. I always look forward to your entries. I hope that you will seek more adventures in your life and that you don't stop traveling and journalling, even if it's not on LJ. If you decide to leave, I will be sad because you are an amazing person who has a passion for sharing and your entries are so insightful but you gotta do what you gotta do, so I hope you will find your path and that you will be fulfilled and happy :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:mananath
Date:June 14th, 2011 07:54 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
thanks! :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:sillyheart
Date:June 15th, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
While Facebook is more immediate and I enjoy seeing things like your recent costume photo shoot (GLORIOUS!) there's nothing like a proper blog entry.

I've been reading your blog for such a long time and whenever there's an entry, it's something thoughtful, well observed, usually hilarious and overall great to read. You're a fun writer and you should keep writing.
Obviously, this is super selfish, but you know, in 10 years, you won't look back at a day in the life by looking at Facebook, but here.

I've hardly posted much myself, but that's mainly because I work insane hours. 3am in Auckland right now. And my entries are lame to begin with, I never write about the stuff that actually seems important.

Shame you're not coming through ChCh in August. I will actually go there for the very first time ever myself, then. An earthquake specialist is my friend and I'll get a (bit sad) tour, play a concert somewhere etc. I should tag a wall with a 'hi' for you somewhere obvious.

Cheers,
Silke
[User Picture Icon]
From:cashmirjungle1
Date:June 25th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I'm sorry to read that your store is closing. I can certainly relate to how you feel. I drove by Westbury the other day (the place has been gutted btw) with a huge grin on my face remembering all the amazing people I worked with and how lucky I am to still have a large number of them in my life. At the same time, I'm glad to have gotten out when I did.

I hope you don't stop posting altogether. I'm a gal who's too scared/poor/stuck to travel and I'm living vicariously through you! It's been so much fun reading about your travels. Plus, I know where to go for the illustrated guide to cooking your own turducken :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:lantichristo
Date:June 30th, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I don't think I'll say anything much different than all my other fellow readers here. I've said it before and I'll say it again, thank you for sharing!
Your journal is like a little oasis.

I love the The Arctic and the Antarctic, so when I discovered your LJ on your first trip there I became an admirer!
Since your writing has become so rare now, I sometimes read old posts and they still make me smile.

Right now, I am reading a book about the Arctic. It is the journal of a woman who spent a year in the Arctic in the 1930s. She wasn't a writer. She just wrote this and only journal. And some things she writes, about her reactions to the splendor of the Arctic, remind me a lot of your writing, and some beautiful thoughts you have shared here in the past.

Maybe one day if you read it, you will feel like meeting an old friend. It is called "A Woman in the Polar Night" (here is a link: http://www.dmpibooks.com/book/a-woman-in-the-polar-night/excerpt)

Keep on writing stranger.
On-line or off ...

:)

Alexandra




[User Picture Icon]
From:fitfool
Date:July 1st, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Anytime you post feels like a gift from the web. I've really enjoyed following your adventures over the years. The Borders store closing reminds me that all things end. I do hope you'll continue posting about whatever you go on to next.